LYONS – Ordering special materials for a particular program is routine for librarians.Ensuring the weather cooperates for an outdoor activity is trickier.
But staff members of the Lyons Public Library found they had ideal weather conditions Saturday for the kickoff of their summer reading program. The event featured ethnic food donated by residents, library employees and local restaurants. It also included children’s games and face-painting.
“We want to get people excited about summer reading,” said Library Director Dan Powers. “This is helping everyone become aware that we have a summer reading program.”
Children enjoyed games on an inflatable basketball court. Eric Stiles of Stilesink Face Painting had kids lined up to transform their faces into works of art.
Monika Whitley and her son, Damion, were among those who took advantage of the summer reading kickoff party.
“Being with my son outside,” Whitley said when asked what she enjoyed most about the event.
This year’s summer reading program at the Lyons Public Library has a theme of “Have Book – Will Travel,” Powers said. He credited Cassie Ozouf, head of youth services at the library, with coming up with the idea for the party.
Ozouf said most of the food for the event was donated to the library by residents and library staff members. Three local restaurants also contributed to the menu: Falafelji, 3910 S. Harlem Ave.; Zupa Restaurant & Deli, 7919 W. Ogden Ave.; and Li’s China Kitchen, 7942 W. Ogden Ave.
“They say that the food is great,” Ozouf said. “It seems like the kids are enjoying the games that we have and the face painter, and everybody’s just having a wonderful time.”
The Summer Reading program will feature an ethnic craft event every other Monday where items representing different countries will be showcased, Ozouf said. Illustrator Kevin Luthardt will be at the library June 22 to show children how they can illustrate their own books, she said.
The library is at 4209 Joliet Ave. in Lyons. Call 708-447-3577 for information.